Trade winds are starting to pick up in the NBA ahead of the league's March 25 trade deadline, and one name that is being tossed around as a potential piece for the Sixers is Philadelphia native son Kyle Lowry.
On Thursday, a report from the Philadelphia Inquirer suggested that Lowry himself was interested in landing with the Sixers at the deadline, and the collective basketball world started brainstorming trade packages.
But hold on just a second, according to Lowry's agent Mark Bartelstein.
Bartelstein jumped on Sirius XM NBA radio on Thursday evening to respond to the report and try to clear the air. Here's what Bartelstein offered up:
"A lot of the rumors and things that are written about, are just - that's just what they are is just rumors [...] That happened today with Kyle Lowry, there was a story today that he's pushing to go to Philadelphia. That's just [laughs] that's just not true. That story came out today, and so I had to get on the phone with [president] Masai [Ujiri] and [general manager] Bobby [Webster] and make sure they knew that certainly wasn't coming from us."
There are probably two ways to look at this statement.
On one hand, perhaps Lowry is indeed staying in Toronto and Bartelstein wants to protect his client's relationship with the organization. Lowry has been in Toronto for a while and is one of the franchise's most beloved players ever.
On the other hand, maybe this is just Bartelstein doing damage control while the Raptors start to look for suitors and keep their options open in negotiations.
The Raptors will probably be more interested in trading Lowry if they're able to get a competitive package in return from the Sixers, rather than president of basketball operations Daryl Morey going into negotiations with the leverage that comes from knowing a player wants to be with one team in particular.
Stuck on a Raptors team struggling to find a foothold in the East and in search of another ring before the twilight of his career, Lowry would be an excellent fit on the Sixers' roster as an extra ballhandler who can get his own offense and also brings a dogged defensive attitude.
The Sixers, still first in the East at nearly the halfway mark of the regular season, are very much championship contenders, and Lowry would push them even closer to getting there.